Language Teaching Studies Blog Site at the University of Oregon

Student Spotlight: Juli


Juli was made in Ohio (specifically Casstown & Athens), but bits of France and now Oregon have more recently begun to run through her blood.  She’s on a quest to sharpen her Banagram-playing, language-teaching, French-speaking, bread-making and distance-running skills.


“This was taken at the bed & breakfast I WWOOFed (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) at in France. Odette, the owner, and I are in the finishing stages of making jam. The couple behind the camera were fellow WWOOFers, Kanji and Misaki, from Japan. For us, the kitchen served as an epicenter of soaking up new languages, new perspectives, new laughs. It was ultimately memorable exchanges like these that guided me to pursuing a Master’s in language teaching.”

What is your GTF context and how has that experience supported you in LTS?
I am a Writing Learning Assistant GTF with Services for Student Athletes; I work with student athletes and provide writing support. Several of the students I work with are international student athletes.  I help these students develop their English language skills as well as their writing skills. Although it’s different from a traditional language classroom, the GTF position provides hands-on language teaching experience, which in turn, has enhanced and supported my experience in the LTS program. This opportunity blends all of my interests & is one for which I am truly grateful.
What has been most rewarding about your GTF?
Integrating content learned in the LTS program with my work as a GTF, and bringing my experiences as a GTF to the classroom has been the most rewarding part of this combination. I am challenged because the context in which I work is unique; before applying a concept learned from the LTS program I have to ask “Will this work for my students? What adaptations can be made to meet their needs?”.  Problem solving like this is fun.
What are you most excited about for your remaining time in the program?
There are three things I am most excited about for the remainder of the program:

1. Continuing to grow with and learn from the 2015-2016 cohort.  Having taken the 2-year option, I entered into the program late. A delayed arrival didn’t stop the group from warmly welcoming me in.  It was similar to entering the home of your Italian relative: before you have time to slip off your shoes, Italian gravity is pulling you toward engulfing hugs, a slew of questions and a big plate of spaghetti. The LTS cohort is stellar. Period.

2. Expanding my knowledge of all things language & teaching related over the next 4.5 terms.  There’s so much to learn!

3.  Continuing LTSEOTT (LTS Eye of the Tiger running group (yes, we took a little linguistic liberty here)).  The cohort started meeting for weekly runs this term, and it has undoubtedly become the highlight of my week. We are constantly engaging in an environment where we are working our minds. I find it refreshing to meet outside of that context to one where we challenge our bodies. We get to know each other in a more complete way. Just like in the classroom, every LTSer brings something unique to the track & has a specific purpose for being there.  Everyone is fearless, willing to take risks and is seeking to improve. That makes the energy great & delicious & simply put, fun!

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